These are my notes for our 2/12/2012 church meeting.
Leader: Raymond Harris
Studying more about our own faith:
- Do I have the kind of faith Jesus is talking about in John 3:16? Do I have saving faith? Be brutally honest with yourself!
- How can I know?
- When it comes down to the bottom line, down to the wire, where does our faith come from?
- How is faith completed?
- Share with each other an example (from scripture) of someone who did not have a saving faith. Explain why!
- Someone who did have a saving faith, that moved God on their behalf.
- How can we be called the friend of God?
Question 1 & 2
Saving faith responds. See Heb. 11 (Abel offered [v4]; Noah built [v7]; Abraham went [v8]; Abraham offered [v17]). Jesus said it is those who keep His commandments who truly love Him (John 14:15).
Faith comes from reading GOD's word (Rom. 10:17) and from GOD Himself (Rom. 12:3).
Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). Faith is completed by our works (Jam. 2:21-22).
Question 5 & 6
For my examples of a lack of faith and a saving faith, I chose the thieves who were crucified with Jesus. The first thief said to Jesus, "If You are the Christ...", whereas the second thief rebuked him and came to Jesus for salvation. On the surface, the second thief appears to be saved by faith alone, and in one sense this is true, but when we look more closely, we see that he did the same thing we do—he came to Jesus and gave himself to Him.
Abraham was called the friend of GOD because of his faith which moved him to obey GOD. We can be called the friend of GOD if we follow Abraham's example and allow our faith in GOD to motivate us to obedience too.